This delightful photograph of a young family was taken in Ealing during the First World War.
A century later, it is part of a unique online collection of pictures of memories chronicling the experiences of the children of British soldiers all the way up to the present day.
The Army Children Archive (TACA) website was created by Clare Gibson, a writer and historian from Chiswick, who is keen to hear from any readers who recognise the family pictured and can help tell their story.
Clare said: “We know quite a few things about the family that looks out at us from this real photographic postcard, thanks to the visual and written information, but not their surname or when they posed for their group portrait.
“The names and ages of the boys are written in black ink on the reverse of the postcard: ‘John 3 yrs 9 mths / Charlie 1 yr 8 mths’. John and Charlie’s soldier–father wears the cap badge of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, and the corps’ ‘KRR’ shoulder titles. The printed information on the back states: ‘Portrait by Wakefield’s, Ealing, London, W5’.
"It would be fascinating to know more about the family.”
Clare started the TACA virtual archive in 2007 intending to write a book on army children’s history.
Setting up a website with which to share what information there was, and to invite contributions, seemed the best way to increase the pool of knowledge, not least because so many British army children end up living all over the world.
Last year, she launched The Army Children of the First World War project as TACA’s contribution to the First World War Centenary Partnership’s programme to inspire young and old to connect with the lives, stories and impact of the First World War.
She added: “TACA is devoted to chronicling the history of regular, ie. career British soldiers. The soldiers of the First World War were, however, a mixture of regulars, volunteers and conscripts, and the latter two groups fall out of TACA’s ‘regulars’ remit.
“So the First World War project is an offshoot of TACA, intended to make people think about what being the child of a British soldier during the First World War must have been like. For example, many of the messages written by children on the back of postcards express the desire to see their fathers again soon, or to to have word from them."
The photographs and postcards, like the one pictured, find their way to TACA from postcard fairs and secondhand shops, or eBay.
If you can shed any light on the photo email.